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Lame Duck Musings

president bush
Bush Is Now A Lame Duck
Some readers agree that President Bush is now a lame duck and blame it on the press. Others say it's his own fault he can't get anything done. Still others are glad about his status. And for some reason, two readers suggest I commit suicide. I don't think I'll try that.

To have a president run and sit for two terms is so yesterday. It's never been proven in recent history that a two term president is more effective and as well-liked in his second term vs. his first (exception: Roosevelt). So it appears that the best way to solve this problem is to have a one-term, 6 year Presidency. One term — 6 years! That's all. The president in the first year wouldn't have to campaign while in office and could concentrate solely on getting the job done in one term, 6-years, the same as a senator.

I do not understand why in this day and age there is a second election for the president when it's evident he/she has run out of steam, not to mention power, the second term.

But it shows just how backwards this country is. We still don't hold elections on the weekends as other countries do. We still haven't figured out how to vote on the internet.

L. Wright, Chicago IL
While it is not unusual to have a lame duck president, what is significant (if I may borrow a word) is that we have a bunch of turkeys waiting in the wings (so to speak). (A little exaggeration, too.)

I cannot believe Hilary Clinton holds any kind of numbers to be a viable candidate. John Kerry, while being remade, I don't think will garner enough confidence from the public especially in this fickle political/media environment. Joe Biden comes across strong and leader-like, but I don't think he has the kind of broad base support and awareness among Americans. In fact, no one really has. John McCain is now politicking again and smooching up to the Christian right; a strategy and tactic that will cost him. And he may be too hawkish as we look toward an end in Iraq. I think we are tired of war as a political tool for change. We have witnessed its lies, its destruction, its sapping of all our resources. And it hasn't produced any tangible results…except bitterness and more war.

We are a fractured country. We cannot expect a "messiah" or media-idol to emerge because we've become too caustic, too critical, too cynical. We don't have any statesmen-like leaders. Our national image is so shot in the world that none of our current government persons seem to be able to engage our worldly neighbors constructively. And our politics is so rife with corruption that it's a wonder we have any kind of government at all.

So what are we to do? If we want change, we must change what we have. Not just political leaders, but how we do politics, how we engage governing, how we work as a people. It is a crisis and an opportunity.

Dave Murray
But does Bush still have the power to nuke Iran? If so, how could he be restrained?

Bill McCulloch
I, for one, am somewhat relieved that we are not being governed. While I would prefer to be governed by a President Gore, or a President Kerry, or a President Feingold, it is a comfort to believe that we are not being governed by this President Bush.

Sadly, his fellow partisan democracy-haters in Congress and at every level of the executive branch will continue to do their best to make sure the most repressive, right-wing policies of the GOP are passed and enforced for as long as possible. That is hardly comforting.

H. Modell, NY
Why are you now only getting around to recognizing that George Bush has "...none -- none -- of the tools presidents have used to turn bad situations around: public support, party support or skilled statecraft." The man has always been a dufus even when he was Governor. Frankly, I think it took an extraordinary amount of cooperation from the Democrats for anyone as grossly incompetent as George W. Bush to be elected not just once but twice. None of this bodes well for the future of this country.

Richard Rosenwald
Sounds like Dick Meyer should commit suicide might put him out of his misery. If he did at least I would know he wasn't just a big blowhard.

Mike Svenson, Alaska
As a staunch supporter of the military (my kid is in the Army and served 15 months in Iraq) and a die-hard opponent of the administration's invasion of Iraq, I have no joy in reading your article this week. Bush in trouble? Yep. Should I be cheering? Yep.

But, I'm not.

We are not governed. You're right. And I wish you were wrong. It's not that President Bush is a poor leader; he just and never has been a strong one. An arrogant bully, yes. A leader, no.

But, the Dems are little better because they are do-nothing blowhards and I distrust politicians more now than in any of my previous 58 years.

What's gonna happen in the next two years? Like you, I don't know, but I fear you're right: nothing short of another attack - which is very likely - will "save" this president.

Dubya thinks he's Truman. We could use Give-'em-hell-Harry's steel right now.

But, nothing could be further from reality.

Oh, yeah, reality. A word not present in the White House.

Steel? No. Tin? Yes.

We're adrift and who's gonna come in and really lead?

Gordon E. Apons